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Who is giving?

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Almost all Americans donate to charity, but those with lower incomes are more generous with their donations than the wealthy, a new study says.

“Freelanthropy Charitable Giving Index,” published by Freelanthropy, which provides online communications services for nonprofits, analyzes the giving behavior of a cross-section of 1,000 Americans.

More than nine in 10 Americans give $100 or more a year, the study says, with more than four in 10 giving $100 to $1,000 and only about one in 20 giving $5,000 or more.

Lower-income Americans are most generous in their giving, based on percentage of income, the study says, with four in 10 people who make less than $25,000 giving $100 to $1,000 last year.

Older people are more generous than younger ones, the study says, with one-quarter of donations in the $1,000-to-$5,000 range coming from people ages 45 to 54, compared to 1.3 percent from those 18 to 24, while those ages 55 to 64 gave almost half the gifts of $100 to $1,000.

One in three self-employed people gave $1,000 to $5,000, more than any other group by employment, while retirees gave the fewest of the larger gifts, the study says.

However, at the lower giving level of $100 to $1,000, retirees were the largest group of givers, with about half giving at that level.

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